The Lord Turned and Looked
Dear believer, how does Christ look upon you?
Do you fear that in his heart, Jesus secretly despises you and is frustrated with you and has just agreed to put up with you? Do you fear that when Jesus looks at you, he must be full of disappointment? Do you wonder whether he rolls his eyes in heaven when you open your mouth to pray?
Do you think you’re too sinful, too broken, for Christ? Have you convinced yourself that while Jesus may be merciful, your sin has exceeded his mercy?
Thomas Goodwin was a Puritan who wrote a book called The Heart of Christ, and in it Goodwin says that your “misery can never exceed his mercy.”
As an example of what I’m talking about, let’s look at the worst moment of Peter’s life that’s recorded in the New Testament. He denies Jesus three times in the courtyard of the high priest while Jesus is inside the residence being interrogated after the Gethsemane arrest. All four Gospels tell of Peter’s denials.
After Luke reports the three denials (Luke 22:56-60), his account adds a unique statement about Jesus: “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly” (22:61-62).
The Lord turned and looked at Peter. The verb for “turned” is used seven times in the Gospel of Luke, and Jesus is the subject of the verb in every case. Five of these occasions are before 22:61, and the final one occurs after it.
- In 7:9, Jesus turned to a crowd and said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
- In 7:44, Jesus turned toward a woman and said to host of the home, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.”